11/26/2008

Flight of Five 2011 Opening?

Posted by MJ

(Image: Fight of Five Looking up to restored buildings on Canal St.)

Earlier this week the Buffalo News had an article updating the Flight of Five Restoration.
http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/niagaracounty/story/502593.html

"Although questions about funding and construction access to the Erie Canal
locks have yet to be settled, program manager Peter J. Welsby last week offered
a new timetable showing a June 2011 opening for the Flight of Five project.
Welsby, of the Wendel Duchscherer engineering firm, said arrangements have
been made with the state Canal Corp. for enough access to carry out a pilot
project next May, restoring masonry and railings near the bottom of the five
19th century lock..."


Of all the projects going on, this is one of the most exciting to me personally. It's a blessing and a great responsibility to have one of the great engineering feats of the 19th century still in tact right in the middle of our downtown. Over the years I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of vehicles with out of state license plates parked around the locks on any given day.

I'd guess there are many out there who pry question the value of spending a large sum of money on a project like this. Most would submit that the money would be better spent elsewhere, etc. But here we have one of the most notable structures on one of the most notable human works in the early history of the United States. this should create the ability to secure funding on all levels. (the economy will return someday ;)

Other areas on the canal are in process of rebuilding their portion of our history:

Camillus is in process of restoring the Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct to working status
http://www.eriecanalcamillus.com/aqueduct.htm
City of Buffalo commercial Slip unearthed and functioning as docking:
http://buffalowaterfront.com/Erie_Canal_Harbor_Officially_Opens.php

Lockport has the advantage of still having their notable structure still on the functioning canal system and dead center of DT businesses/other activities for actual spin off through interaction. Park once and walk to numerous other places. Add to it a new :hidden parking structure with surface park and overlook, possible "Upper Marina", great start/end point for the wine loop etc and we will have a critical mass to build up visitors and residents. We should be proud of what we have from those before us and do our best to preserve and use it to our best benefit.

For more year round interest: I wonder if we could do something similar to Ottawa who turns their DT locks into the "world's longest ice skating rink"?
http://www.ottawa-information-guide.com/rideau-canal.html
Ottawa is on my list of "have to visit" weekend road trips.

While poking around I came across this site, which is wonderfully laid out for Lockport Tourism.
http://lockportontheeriecanal.com/welcome-erie-canal-lockport.html. A really really nice layout. Send it to everyone you know and post it everywhere ;)

The article also stated:


For $7,500, Full Circle Studios is producing a five-to seven- minute video to be
shown next month to the foundation and perhaps to other funding sources later
on.


Will check to see if this video gets posted somewhere and if not I will see if I can get my hands on it to post.

How do you feel about this project?

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